Veteran D.C. bicycle commuters can tell you that many drivers view cyclists negatively. The reason why so many motorists have an aversion to bicyclists sharing the road is hard to pinpoint, but experienced cyclists know that the rule-breakers ruin it for the rest of us. Each person reading this article has probably shared the road with “that” cyclist. You know the type—riding against traffic, dodging cars, running lights—and it hurts every cyclist’s reputation.
Habitually reckless motorists not only face tickets, they risk losing their licenses unless they improve their driving. Many times, this means taking remedial classes.
It is impossible to forcibly prevent someone from riding their bicycle, but New York City may have the answer. Certain ticketed cyclists are now required to attend 90-minute classes that teach them the rules of road biking in an urban area. One judge profiled by the New York Times last year, Felicia Mennin, admits that many cyclists may not even be intentionally breaking the law—they may simply be unaware of the laws and how to follow them.
These classes are not just for law-breaking cyclists—instructors also share important information with police officers. As many D.C. bikers can attest, the officers writing tickets may not even be perfectly clear on the rules themselves. By reaching out to both sides of the law, these classes make an important difference.
While these classes have yet to make it to Washington, D.C., the idea behind them is certainly interesting. Punishment without information will only create more resistant riders and will hardly promote a better relationship on the road between those with four wheels and those with two.
The Bethesda bicycle accident attorneys at Lewis and Tompkins are your advocates if you have followed the rules and were injured by someone who acted negligently. If you have been hurt, call today at 202.296.0666 for a free consultation.